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by Tim Beissmann

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has expressed its disappointment in the four-star safety ratings awarded to the Isuzu D-Max crew-cab and the single- and space-cab variants of the Holden Colorado.

The Holden Colorado single-/space-cabs failed to match the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating awarded to the larger Colorado crew-cab (below) in July because unlike the crew-cab, which is fitted with dual seatbelt pretensioners and driver and front passenger seatbelt reminders, the single- and space-cab models feature only single pretensioners and a seatbelt reminder for the driver only.

While the four-star result for the Isuzu D-Max crew-cab (above) represents an improvement over the old three-star-rated model, its lack of rear seatbelt pretensioners (like the Colorado, with which it shares its platform) likewise limits it to a four-star result.

ANCAP Chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said Isuzu’s progress was encouraging, but added that five stars was now the standard in the light-commercial vehicle segment.

“The four-star ANCAP safety rating for the D-Max is an improvement on the rating of the former model but with an increasing number of fleets now requiring five-star vehicles, and consumers also purchasing these utes for family transport, safety should be the priority when making the purchasing decision,” McIntosh said.

“The five-star ANCAP safety rating of the Colorado crew-cabs should be praised, however a four-star result for the single-/space-cab models is disappointing.”

Holden today defended the Colorado, with spokeswoman Kate Lonsdale insisting the local manufacturer is “100 per cent confident in the real-world safety of the Holden Colorado range”.

“The single- and space-cab models boast a comprehensive list of active and passive features as found on the crew-cab, including electronic stability control (ESC), anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), driver and front passenger airbags and full length curtain airbags,” Lonsdale said.

“A four-star rating is a highly respectable result, particularly for a light-commercial vehicle.”

Lonsdale said Holden takes safety very seriously and has an ongoing commitment to continually improving the safety features offered in all its vehicles, but admitted it has “no immediate plans to make specification changes to [the Colorado] range” in pursuit of a five-star rating across the board.

Isuzu Ute Australia says the four-star ANCAP rating still makes the D-Max one of the safest light-commercial vehicles on the market, yet has gone on the front foot to address the independent crash-tester’s concerns.

“Isuzu Ute Australia is addressing this latest development and will release further information regarding the timing of [our] endeavour to achieve a five-star ANCAP rating for the D-MAX shortly,” the company said in a statement.

Like the Colorado, the new Isuzu D-Max is equipped with ESC, ABS and EBD, and features six airbags (dual front, side and curtains).

The Holden Colorado single-/space-cab scored 29.20 points out of 37, while the Isuzu D-Max crew-cab scored slightly higher at 30.48.

The Colorado scored 10.20 out of 16 in the frontal offset crash test, offering marginal protection for the driver and passenger from serious chest and leg injury, while the D-Max scored 10.48, also offering marginal protection from serious chest and leg injury for the driver as well as marginal leg protection for the passenger.




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